Well, Mostly From the Jewish Quarter
Regarding, Antisemitism as a False Flag Operation, it immediately brought to mind what I tend to see frequently on Gab. I’m really troubled by the antisemitism from conservatives and some Christians. These are the same folks that are rightly concerned about racism directed at whites, but can’t see their own bias against Jews. I’m glad I’m not the only one that finds this trend concerning. Thanks for breaking it down for us.
Brent, yes. That is one of the things I have noticed on Gab also. But, I hasten to add, that is what you are going to find in a place that allows for actual free speech. If someone says something objectionable there, we should object to it—which is different than trying to cancel them. In the face of that kind of thing, we should simply exercise our free speech rights also—in providing a response. That is what this post was intended to do—and I posted it on Gab.
Re: Antisemitism as A False Flag
Pastor Doug, you are a wiser man than most, and do well to break the modern traps down into their individual components using scriptural categories and labels. Your treatment of “racism” was particularly fine.
But you fired wide on this one. The rising tide of “antisemitism” today has nothing to do with envy. It has everything to do with the Internet making it extremely easy to read the surnames of the people behind the weaponized-envy-driven schemes that have made this modern civilization we see dissolving before us what it is today. You mentioned several of them in your article: communism, BLM, feminism, etc. We could add abortion, accessible pornography, high status for promiscuity and sodomy, dispensationalism, and six million more. Just pick a social edifice that has lead twentieth century Christians away from orthodoxy and Google its most energetic patrons.
Today’s antisemite doesn’t envy the Jew’s wealth or intelligence. He acknowledges the Jew’s contributions to Western Civilization. Wikipedia is bringing the antisemitism of American Christians up to the levels of old Europe, and not a moment too soon.
I would like to throw out a hypothesis that might make a more robust treatment of the phenomenon: “Jewishness” is a religion, not a race or an ethnicity. We have two thousand years of good data that shows, almost without exception, that the (ethnically Jewish) grandchildren of spiritual Jews who bow the knee to Christ have TOTALLY LOST their Jewish identity in their Christian identity. Your family’s example can go right on top of that pile.
Jimmy, thanks for the letter. I agree with your last paragraph, at least if we give it three or four generations. But my co-grandfather, who is a Jew who has trusted in Christ, still has all of his Jewishness running on all eight cylinders. As for your second point, I have been a pastor for many years and think I can recognize envy—even when it tries to cloak itself in reasonable points. Two men can object to a rich man’s ostentatious display, and both be correct, but in one of them there is that telltale crackle. And as to your first point, I would argue that it is the fallacy of affirming the consequent. I fully grant that when you research the data base of dirty deeds, you will find a lot of Jewish names there. But the same thing happens if you research the data base of violin virtuosos, chess masters, Nobel prize winners, inventors, and so on. This was my argument. The point goes right to the heart of the issue—I grant that bad Jews are bad.
All three buildings were wired with explosives, it was a Mossad operation.
https://archive.org/details/911IsraelAndCoincidences You already know about the USS Liberty, but the 9/11 documents also make it clear what happened.
Dancing Israeli’s FBI document
Van with mural
Again, I’m open to forgiveness, but we are SICK AND TIRED OF BEING LIED TO AND BEING TREATED AS CONSPIRACY THEORISTS WHEN THERE IS HARD EVIDENCE AND THESE PEOPLE ARE STILL PLANNING ON HARMING US, AND WE HAVE TO PRETEND ALL OF THIS ISN’T HAPPENING.
I DON’T HATE ANYONE, I BEG THEM TO STOP DOING THIS. I WANT THEM TO KNOW JESUS. I’VE BEEN A WRECK FROM LEARNING ALL THIS THE PAST 6 MONTHS. OUR FAMILIES ARE TERRIFIED AND NO PASTORS SEEM TO EVEN KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON.
John, every true Christian wants evil men to repent and to turn to Christ, and we should resist and fight them until such time as they do. But fear and despair are not effective in providing us with the courage and wisdom we need. In addition they make us vulnerable to concocted stories that just aren’t true. The combination we must pray for is courage and wisdom together.
“I am not sure how this came about, but a number of the algorithm gremlins have somehow decided that I am a fitting target for various forms of what might be called right wing rage spam. As a result, on a daily basis, multiple times a day, I am cordially invited to see Senator So-and-so drop a BOMB on AOC, or to watch as an angry mom OBLITERATES a school board somewhere, or to click on something that will enable me to observe a Texas sheriff WIPE THE FLOOR with some ding dong at CNN. It has to be acknowledged that a lot of people on the right appear to like hating.”
I’m worried that this trend has something to do with DISRN being shut down and grafted into NTB (Not The Bee) entirely. Where DISRN was a site that summarized leftist news outlets in a more professional manner, NTB is becoming the gossip tabloid of the right (with its own right-wing social media echo chamber for its subscribers to boot).
Full disclosure: I was banned from NTB’s social media platform partially for going after this right-wing outrage (specifically for saying “there is a right-wing cancel culture” and sharing screen shots of members who were digging through my old tweets for dirt), but I think it’s mainstream and obvious enough to be a good example of it despite my history with it.
Jeremiah, thanks for writing. So far my experience with Not the Bee has been fine, but I do see them starting to lean in the click bait direction.
I like your approach to the “Anti-Semitism” issue. I have been wrestling through how to think rightly about the “Jewish question” and your post has been helpful. Since you give the opportunity for engagement, I do have a couple thoughts and then a question. One of the landmines that muddles the conversation is how to deal with anti-Jewish theology approach.
I’ve noticed that Christian apologists freely attribute all kinds of bad fruit to atheism, Hinduism, or Islam and they claim that the characteristics of various bad fruits can be particular to different forms of unbelief. For instance, identifying polygamy and the abuse of women, as in some way a fruit of Islam. However, most of these apologists will not attribute any particular bad fruit to the outworking of modern Jewish theology. I am not familiar with all of modern Jewish theology, but I have heard people, like Dr. E Michael Jones, make the case that a subversive and revolutionary spirit (as his book is calls it) is basically an outworking of modern Jewish theology. Do you think that there are any merit to that claim?
Joshua, two things. I have read a number of E. Michael Jones’ books, and have profited greatly from them. I recently had a good discussion with him on Man Rampant. But, glancing in the other direction, I used to get his magazine Culture Wars, but eventually got tired of a Jew on every cover. As to the point of your question, I do believe that theology comes out your fingertips, and this is no less true for Jews as for anyone else. So I believe that among atheistic Jews, there is a destructive and revolutionary death cult spirit, but among observant Jews the problems would be more in line with what you find in every form of Unitarianism.
I’ve been Reformed, thanks to RC Sproul, since about 1995, and I’ve been a Christian since 1992. And almost as long, I’ve been involved in Jewish missions or the greater Messianic Jewish community.
I really appreciated your article on anti-Semitism. I had one thing in mind about you being a supecessionist.
Now, most in the Messianic Jewish world absolutely hate this at worst and treat it with suspicion at best. They associate it with anti-Semitism.
Needless to say, I’ve been forced to mull this topic over for that very reason. There are a number of Messianic Jews who lean Reformed. Many of them balk at this point though. Some of it is a Dispy background. Some of it is the history of anti-Semitism.
So I wanted to send you a link I though did a good job. It’s from a PCA Jewish ministry in Philadelphia (the city happens to have a long history of Reformed outreach to Jews).
The basic idea, using the British Empire as an analogy, is that you have an expansion of God’s kingdom. If England is the base of the Empire, Israel is the base of God’s kingdom. Now, most of the natural subjects may be in rebellion to the Crown. But there’s something more going on than just they’ve been replaced.
I think if I continue I’ll butcher the analogy so I’ll stop here. But I think it’s worth considering the article and I think it’s a good corrective to the Replacement folks, while not falling into the errors of a Dispensational approach.
I think some Replacement theology is an overreaction to Dispensationalism to be honest, although I’m not how doctrinaire you are here. You may be akin to a soft-cessationist.
Anyway, God bless.
Geoff, my position may be an odd amalgam. I believe that the olive tree of Romans 11 is the covenant of Israel, and that unbelieving Jews have been cut out of it, and are stacked in bundles alongside the orchard. God is currently grafting wild olive branches into the tree, and they are flourishing there. But because the gifts and call of God are irrevocable, I do believe that Jews are going to be grafted back into the tree, and they will really take to it. They will not function as a separated people of God, but rather will be grafted back into Christ. So as a consequence, I also believe that ethnic Israel will remain ethnically intact until that time.
‘Antisemitism as a False Flag Operation’ was …uncharacteristically poorly-argued, to say the least. I daresay you’d be unimpressed if a Catholic argued against Martin Luther in such a manner, pointing to his bathroom-humor caricatures of the Pope & Crew, and said it was proof that he was just a Bavarian hick taken with envy of Rome, and offered no further actual engagement with Luther or any other Protestants. (Amusingly, I recall Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn—usually well worth reading—making almost exactly that argument. His stinker fared no better than yours.)
You owe it to your readers, and indeed, to God, to do better. You could start by actually interacting with the respectables among the other side. I’ll serve one up: here’s G.K. Chesterton on ‘anti-Semitism’ in America (and in context on Henry Ford in particular):
Now the point is that this new American Anti-Semitism springs from experience and nothing but experience. There is no prejudice for it to spring from. Or rather the prejudice is all the other way. All the traditions of that democracy, and very creditable traditions too, are in favour of toleration and a sort of idealistic indifference. The sympathies in which these nineteenth-century people were reared were all against Front-de-Bœuf and in favour of Rebecca. They inherited a prejudice against Anti-Semitism; a prejudice of Anti-Anti-Semitism. These people of the plains have found the Jewish problem exactly as they might have struck oil; because it is there, and not even because they were looking for it.
Chesterton—who, let us note, most assuredly was not a Jew-hater, and more than once in print took his fellow Europeans to task for their flights of actual irrational hostility towards Jews—seems to have noticed something that you obstinately refuse to see: that a whole lot of Jews behave in particular, stereotypical ways inimical to Christian society, and whenever any are called out on it, collectively treat this as an attack on all Jews instead of behaving as good citizens and reprimanding their own. They did this in the New World the same as they did in the Old World, repaying hospitality with predation. Noticing this, then, is not a sign of one’s own sinfulness, but a sign that one’s faculties of pattern recognition aren’t totally hosed.
Was Chesterton on to something, or was he too just some envious little brat on the internet?
You’re also unjustifiably dismissive of why that pattern might exist. I can’t fathom why you refuse to so much as admit the possibility that defining a religion and religious society in explicit terms of rejecting Christ—not ignorance of Him, but ‘your so-called Christ is a bastard fraud, now in hell, boiling in excrement, and no one may believe him and be accepted as one of us’, might have some small smidgen of consequences when it’s mixed with Christian society.
No, Doug, it isn’t envy; it’s pattern recognition and a fact that has, on its face, quite a bit of power to explain the pattern. Noticing the problem doesn’t mean you’re in favor of gas chambers. But if we’re right, your preaching a stubborn refusal to see the problem cannot help but get in the way of building the Christian culture you want.
Buford, what you describe as a stubborn refusal to see Jews acting badly is actually something I acknowledged in various ways throughout the post. I acknowledge that when Jews are wicked, their behavior is wicked, and destructive. This is true of Jews who are given over to the consequences of their unbelief. It is not true of Jews in Christ, and it is not true of Jews who are living in a way that is restrained by common grace. It is not a DNA problem, in other words. It is a cultural problem, and until Jewish culture submits to Christ it will continue to have this Jekyll and Hyde problem.
I’m your biggest fan, but your post on the JQ was lacking engagement in the actual charges being levied by the new anti-semites. And Ben Shapiro? He has posted several tweets outright mocking Jesus. Jewish or not, he’s not on our side.
Hi, Amanda. I was responding to an antisemitism that I have actually seen, a kind with sophomoric argumentation. If the new antisemitism has responsible spokesmen, I have not run into them yet. And I believe Ben Shapiro needs to repent and trust in Christ. When it comes to basic conservative policy, he is on our side. When it comes to sustainable conservatism, I grant that he is not, and will not be until he sees the heart of the issue.
Antisemitism as a False Flag Operation
I have a friend who recently got caught up in some bad kinist thinking, and this post nails it. Their pride and envy blind them so that they can’t see their pride and envy. Not good.. Anyway, thank you dearly Pastor Wilson, for this post and all your work.
Note: Credit to the great Gary DeMar, who is a master of the details, I always spot this one now—lions don’t lie with lambs in the Bible. I’m sure they will, but the wolf gets first dibs. :)
Caspian, on the lion and lamb thing . . . okay, fine. I was misled by the Mossad.
“and because God wants to glorify His name by preserving them as an intact people so that He can bring them back to the olive tree en masse (Rom. 11:24-25).”
Why, how dispy of you ;)
Guymon, I don’t have time to look up the details, but the first theologian to predict Israel’s return to the land was a postmill guy in the 17th century. His name was Jonathan Edwards, but he was not the famous one. For the Puritans, the linchpin of world evangelization was the Conversion of the Jews. I would recommend Iain Murray’s book, The Puritan Hope.
Thank you so much for your wisdom and your unflinching willingness to tackle controversial issues as they arise. I too have noted a distressing rise in anti-semitic sentiment on the right and even within certain Christian circles. In the main, I see their logic flowing as follows “the Jews are highly successful, disproportionately so, and that success MUST BE because of (insert malevolent conspiracy theory here).”
When I see this in Christian circles, particularly in covenantal circles, it concerns me because it seems to indicate a lack of understanding of how the Law is objectively the best course of action. That is, following the principles of the Law is objectively the best thing you could do for yourself, your wife and children, your business, your church and your country, AND its the best thing you could do along all of those lines, now, next week, next year, and into eternity future.
Therefore, obeying the law leads to certain objective covenant blessings, non-salvific of course, but still very real. And so we have an excellent explanation for why the Jews are a high-performance people. To the extent that they follow the Law they receive blessings. This is no longer unique to the Jewish people, but in Christ EVERYONE has access to covenantal blessings, including the Jews.
This objective understanding of the Law seems to me to be a foundational to any kind of optimistic eschatology. I’m somewhat confused on why we don’t see Christian leaders making this point, not only to refute antisemitic nonsense, but as part of a general, “of COURSE we should expect obedience (even partial limited obedience) to the Law to have this effect.”
I will note that it is far from clear that Jews are actually “disproportionately successful” compared to other high IQ family groups But even if there are things that IQ cannot explain, it seems to me to be clear that Jewish success is intimately tied to the generational effects of Jewish faithfulness to the Law, which is GOOD NEWS for Christians who in Christ have the right to participate in those blessings.
So in conclusion, I’m sure that you will address the general problem of right-wing antisemitism with your usual wit and verve. But if I’m correct in my understanding that the law has got to be objective in order for the Christian story to end victoriously, I would love to see your take on that as well. Additionally, if (as has happened several times to me) there is a pre-existing theological term for the “objectivity of the law” I would greatly appreciate knowing that.
Gregory, yes, I agree fully. External conformity to the law brings external blessings. But that cannot be sustained for long apart from submission to the heart of the law, the end of the law, which is Christ.
Okay, a Few Other Topics . . .
The Nephilim, for Instance
Regarding “The Nephalim, Hades, and Other Oddments”, thanks for the article. I’ve found myself going back and forth over time on whether the Nephilim should be understood as men or angels. I think you argued well that the latter interpretation suits best the references in the New Testament to the event in the Old Testament. It also helped me realize that one of the motivating forces for the prior interpretation is the modern desire to read the Bible naturalistically, or at least as naturalistically as possible. I’ve always appreciated your knack for exposing the anti-supernatural assumptions we often inherit, wittingly or not, from the world.
With that said, I did want to clarify one claim you made. In discussing 1 Peter 3:18-20, you indicated that the word used to describe Jesus’ proclamation to the spirits in prison was “not the word for preaching the Gospel”. But unless I’m missing something, it is. The word is a form of κηρήσσω, which indeed can mean simply to proclaim or announce, but is also, I think, the most commonly used word in the NT for preaching the Gospel (e.g., Paul instructing Timothy to “preach”/κήρυξον the word in and out of season in 2 Tim 4:2, or Jesus “preaching”/κυρύσσων the Gospel in Matt 4:23). Although your interpretation seems appropriate, and appeals to me for conforming better to what I’ve always been taught about salvation only being offered to humans prior to death, it seems to me that the language of this passage alone does not limit us to reading ἐκήρυξεν as “proclaimed” as opposed to “preached”.
Since I may have misunderstood, could you either indicate which word(s) you had in mind that refers only to preaching the Gospel in contrast to κηρύσσειν, or else what other linguistic features of this passage (or perhaps Peter’s letters generally) ought to lead us to limit the meaning of κηρύσσειν here as you have done? It seems to me the only alternatives are to say this limitation is set by other passages of Scripture which explicitly teach that disobedient spirits cannot or will not be given a chance to repent (and I’d be happy to know where you’d point), or at least to say this passage does not specify one way or the other. Again, not saying your conclusion was wrong, but skeptical that the language used here demands it.
Jonathan, you are right about the verb kerusso—it can mean preaching the gospel. But my point was that it is not euangelio, which has to mean preaching the gospel. I think we can determine the meaning in this passage as “herald” or “announce” because of the broader context. I take it together with 2 Pet. 2:4, where the disobedient are “reserved for judgment.”
Thank you for your faithful ministry. Your teaching has blessed my family and I more than I could ever express. “Your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).
My question is in response to “The Nephilim, Hades, and other Oddments”. You state, “No, it is not necessary to jettison what we have learned through modern cosmology in order accept and believe the biblical teaching on this subject.” I agree.
I’m a Pastor of a small church, and have several members who are deep into the flat earth conspiracy. I’m wondering if you have any advice about how to approach this subject in the church? I am concerned by the lack of discernment this demonstrates but not sure on the most loving way to address it, or even if it ought to be addressed at all. The situation is complicated also because the media, as of late, uses the word “conspiracy theory” for basically anything they don’t like, which seems to only embolden those who hold genuine conspiracy theories.
If you have any wisdom or advice on the subject I’d love to hear it. Thanks again for your faithful ministry.
Bryan, I would work to keep any of these folks out of leadership positions. In addition, I would look for opportunities to encourage them to not be “evangelistic” with what they are studying, and put a damper on it that way. And then I would start praying for opportunities to pastor them with regard to whatever the real issues are, which will more likely be father issues than cosmology issues.
A Great Publishing Idea
How about a slim volume of Jokes I Like To Tell from Canon Press? I enjoy them thoroughly. Thanks for the chuckle.
Mr. Z, great idea. We’ll see . . . it depends on if I run out.
Permit the Children
If we ought to be baptizing our babies, should the spouses of Christians be baptized and take communion in a similar manner? Obviously, I hope, no one would physically force his spouse to be baptized. (You will be baptized and you will like it!) Nevertheless, if the spouse of a Christian professes a desire to follow Christ just as his spouse follows Him, yet doesn’t necessarily hold all of the right theology even on essential doctrines, should they still be baptized?
Michael, if an unbelieving spouse is willing to submit to the teaching and discipline of the church, then I wouldn’t call them an unbeliever. And the first thing I would teach them is what they would have to confess in order to be baptized.
The Order of Sin
I have a question regarding the notion that “we sinned, and all of creation fell.”
Didn’t Lucifer sin first?
By the time he temps Eve in the garden he had already been cast out of heaven.
I’ve always struggled with the timing embedded in the conclusion that our sin in Adam introduced sin into the world and caused the fall of all creation.
Didn’t Satan’s sin introduce sin into the world?
You’re the man, love your work. And Epstein didn’t kill himself. (Apologies for the non sequitur but I’m hoping it’ll increase my chances of getting a response).
Andrew, yes, Lucifer sinned before Adam, and Eve did also. But Adam was the federal head. That means that before Adam sinned, sin could be in the world, but sin did not have domination over the world. So when Paul in Romans says that through “one man” sin entered the world, he is talking about the dominion of sin, not the presence of sin.
Does God’s Sovereignty Inspire Worship?
While theistic evolution certainly makes me uncomfortable, the major challenge to my faith is supralapsarianism. Intellectually assenting to God ever-knowing and setting into motion a very good creation, our fall, and our redemption is one thing, but it does not inspire love in me. I have entertained process theology as a means to obviate my unease, but I ultimately do not believe that the God who created time is limited by it. This whole subject leaves me believing yet struggling with the trust and hope of faith. It inspires fear (though I’m not sure it is the kind that is the beginning of wisdom). Reading that all present sorrows are nothing compared to the joy to come, and reasoning that I am mere clay and would view all this differently were I not constrained by time may make hypothetical sense, but it is nonetheless an exercise in reason that does not fill me with trust and love but rather a pagan-like dread of the potter. I would appreciate any thoughts you have on this.
Daniel, thanks for the question. I don’t want to come off as callused in this response, but I think you need to do more than lament how little your reasoning can do for you. You need to move on to repent of your manner of reasoning. If it does not culminate in glory, then to hell with it. So go over the argument again, and then glorify God by faith.